Uncategorized, Walking

Bluebell Woods


Yesterday was a lovely spring day that we decided to make the most of the lovely weather and headed to Lanhydrock House, our nearest National Trust property. We followed a circular route along the estate boundaries.  Heading in to the beech woods we descended slowly though the trees, emerging by the River Fowey. There is something quite magical about being near to water and yesterday the river was fairly full, and moving swiftly, full of noise and bustle much more suited to the tempo of a working day rather than a lazy Sunday. On the far bank we spotted a Dipper enjoying some morning fishing before the antics of some dogs frightened him away.

Leaving the river behind the path wound it way around the edge of the wilder part of the gardens, skirting the huge rhododendron bushes , laden at present with heavy blooms from palest white to deepest red before leading us in to the oak woods behind the house. here there were carpets of bluebells, interspersed occasionally with primroses and wood anemones, wild garlic and the occasional flash of deep purple violets. It was a wonderful sight, nature overflowing with generosity, a bounty of blue from the palest almost white to the darkest, almost purple.

We saw only  a few people on our walk and were amazed when we returned to the car park to see many hundreds of vehicles; most of their occupants busy walking round the stately home or the cultivated gardens, both of which are definitely worth seeing but we felt as though we had found the real treasure yesterday. It was a good reminder that it’s not always the biggest  and most talked about that are the best and it can be only too easy to overlook the joy found in the quiet places, the pleasure that can be had from the simple things in life.

Below is a link to the house for anyone who might like to know more about it. Not to be missed if you visit Cornwall



Politics, Uncategorized

Seven weeks is a long time in politics

So here in UK we are to weather yet another election and like many ordinary folk I am already somewhat disillusioned and it was only announced on Tuesday. I can understand the reasons for calling the election, I fully see that the Prime Minister feels a need to have the country and Parliament behind her as she embarks on a momentous process of negotiating our exit from the EU…..but as a nation I think we have had our fill of elections and referenda.

I feel what is needed is the benign presence of some magical fairy dust sprinkled liberally throughout the corridors of Westminster and with regular and repeated doses applied to all the party leaders especially before appearing in television and radio interviews. I cannot be alone in longing for the seemingly impossible – a straightforward answer to a  question instead of a rambling regurgitation of a pre- prepared statement. The woman in the street, along with the man, is ready to here some truths, however uncomfortable they may be to listen to. We are adults and are totally disenchanted with the myths and legends of what will miraculously happen after June 8th; we have heard it all before and it would be so refreshing to hear any politician, but particularly a party leader, just tell us the bare facts, the untarnished truth so that we can make a clear and logical decision for whom to vote.

We have had the referendum, Brexit is a given. What matters now is that we pull together to achieve the best outcome for the country as a whole not just for business people and politicians but the hill farmer in Wales, the fisherman in Cornwall, the elderly caring for their spouses with dementia, the young children who go hungry in school holidays, the pensioners who are just scraping by and the young adults who struggle and fail to buy their first home.

Sadly though we are already being subjected to the same old, same old with party leaders giving away little that is positive and forward looking, preferring to counter questions with denigrating criticism of the opposition.

If they want us to become engaged in this election they must begin to treat us as equals, as adults with views and opinions; we are not in need of sales talk, this is not a purchase in a superstore. What is needed now is clarity, truth and respect for the population as a whole.

Roll on June 9th!



Home and away

Home again after a fortnight of travelling, seeing family and celebrating my husband’s 70th birthday, today has been the first time for days that I have had chance just to’be’, to collect my thoughts and to reflect on the events of the past days.

The visit to my son was mostly positive although he is clearly stressed as he takes on a new and more responsible role at work; my daughter in law, like so many other young women, is stretched to breaking point running a home, bringing up a child and going to work, striving ceaselessly to attain perfection in all areas of life that I fear she experiences few moments of genuine pleasure and rest. My beloved grand daughter seemed worn out when we arrived, having just finished school for the Easter holidays and although we enjoyed some fun days out she seemed to be below par and it was no great surprise that she woke after a few days covered in spots and joined most of her friends with chicken pox. A classic case of the body holding out and then succumbing to illness when the pressure is off. In one way a blessing as all children need to go through the baptism of childhood illnesses, they are best caught when young, and she is now fine again.

No matter how good our relationships, how strong our affection, it is never easy to stay in close confines with one’s adult children for too long and as we reached day 5 I was reminded of the old Chines proverb : After three days both fish and visitors begin to stink!

Perhaps it is a sign of ageing that we begin to yearn for the comfort and familiarity of our own homes, our own bed, the quiet calm of our country home as opposed to life on the edge of a city, the sound of birdsong rather than traffic and the contentment of the small routines that punctuate our days. Whatever the reason it was good to go and equally good to come home again.

After a few days recovering we packed a small bag again and set off on a short journey, less than hour away from our home. My husband is not a party person and generally prefers low key celebrations so for his birthday I had booked us in to a quiet country house hotel overlooking the North Cornish coast. He had no idea where we were headed and we spent the day walking the coast path over The Rumps near Polzeath. There were few other walkers and for the most part we had the day to ourselves to enjoy the stunning scenery, the carpets of spring flowers: primroses, bluebells, wild garlic, squills, violets and even thrift beginning to appear. We could not have asked for a better performance.

At the end of the day we arrived at The Longcross.  Miles from anywhere this lovely Victorian building is a haven of comfort, exquisite food and discreet service. The Manager had laughed gently with me when I had made the reservation as I had booked their honeymoon suite, The Love Shack, which stands alone at the far end of the beautiful gardens with views overlooking the stunning coastline, because I had also said we were coming to celebrate my husband’s 70th birthday. I suppose I can understand their surprise and amusement; from their 30 something viewpoint we must seem like ‘old people’ but as we age we come to realise that how old we are has little bearing on our feelings, emotions and desires. On discovering where we were staying John was amused, but mostly delighted and thrilled to be staying in such a special and beautiful place but also pleased that I still thought it quite normal for us to consider ourselves ‘honeymooners’.

His comment to me as we packed to leave the next day was that he would never forget his 70th birthday and never be able to hear the song, Love Shack, again without remembering this special time. So a success.9 Longcross

This is the view from the hotel, which takes some beating and we had only travelled an hour from home.